[Met Performance] CID:46140
Tosca {66} Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/12/1910., Broadcast

(First Met Broadcast (Acts II, III)

Metropolitan Opera House
January 12, 1910 Broadcast (Acts II, III)

TOSCA {66}

Tosca...................Olive Fremstad
Cavaradossi.............Riccardo Martin
Scarpia.................Pasquale Amato
Sacristan...............Fernando Gianoli-Galletti
Spoletta................Leo Devaux
Angelotti...............Paolo Ananian
Sciarrone...............Bernard Bégué
Shepherd................Florence Wickham
Jailer..................Edoardo Missiano

Conductor...............Egisto Tango

[Acts II and III of Tosca and the double-bill the following evening were broadcast from a rooftop transmitter erected at the opera house in an experiment conducted by radio pioneer Lee De Forest. The erratic signal, relayed to wireless installations, then by land lines to telephone receivers, reportedly reached a few hundred listeners as far away as Newark, New Jersey. These were the first occasions on which a Metropolitan Opera presentation was heard, as it occurred, by an audience not present at the performance.]

Review in The New York Times:


Experiment to be Made at Metropolitan at "Tosca" Performance.

Opera is to be heard by wireless telephony, if the present plans of Lee de Forest and the Metropolitan Opera Company are carried out, on Wednesday evening, when Mme. Fremstad is to sing Tosca at the Metropolitan. The key to the melody which will be floating loosely in the air will be a wireless receiver. Any wireless receiver, properly attuned and connected to a single upright wire and telephone ear piece, will catch the ether pulsations.

In company with Kelly Turner, the inventor of the dictograph, an instrument which picks up the smallest sounds made many feet from the transmitter, Mr. de Forest has for a long time been at work perfecting arrangements for the present plan. The scheme, when first broached to the Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Company, met with instant approval. Mr. de Forest has been installing his latest type of long-distance radio telephone transmitter, combined with a secret device whereby the music as brought from the stage dictograph can be retransmitted and sent out broadcast from the antenna wires.

Two special masts have been erected on the roof of the Metropolitan, near the Broadway side, and from the top of these the antenna wires lead down to the radiophone. The masts on the Opera House are not tall, and the range of transmission is limited to perhaps fifty miles. Anywhere in New York, however, where there are wireless receiving stations, it will be possible to hear the opera. This will only be an experiment and perfect results are not expected immediately.

Unsigned review in an unidentified newspaper:

"Tosca" was given again at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening with Mme. Fremstad, Mr. Martin, and Mr. Amato in the chief parts. All had been heard before in them. It was Mme. Fremstad's second appearance in the opera which is this season the object of so much misplaced longing on the part of so many prima donnas. Nothing that Mme. Fremstad undertakes is without the stamp of the versatile and accomplished artist, and this impersonation has many strong qualities, most in evidence on the purely dramatic side, for there are certain passages in the music that lie ill for her voice, and that she can compass only with more or less of effort. She moved in the part with something more of freedom and certainty, naturally, than she did at her first attempt; but it is not at all likely that Tosca will ever be one of her most distinguished achievements.

Mr. Martin and Mr. Amato both do excellent things in this work. Mr. Tango conducted with much power and dramatic energy; sometimes too much, but it was a better performance than some of those that he had previously directed. The audience was rather a small one.

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